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Written by Tara John, CNN

Vogue Brazil style’s director Donata Meirelles has stepped down after photography from her 50th birthday party and dinner were criticized for their colonial references to slavery.

The furor began when an image, which has since been deleted, emerged on Instagram of Meirelles at her party in Salvador de Bahia, northeast Brazil, sitting on an ornate chair with black women in traditional dress flanking either side of her.

Critics compared the clothes to uniforms worn by slaves and pointed out the chair looked similar to chairs used by slave masters.

“The photo clearly and unfortunately refers to a Brazil of autocracy and slavery, where black people were serving and white people tended to,” wrote Instagram user Roberto Sakiyama.

“I don’t see any praise to Afro-Brazilian culture.”

In a statement to CNN, Vogue Brazil confirmed that Meirelles had resigned and her position of style director “will be extinguished, since it has been designed specifically to her.”

It wrote that during the seven years as style director, Meirelles “has been extremely important” to shaping “the magazine and (consolidating) Vogue Brazil as a major global force.”

“With her unique sense of style, which captures the dynamism and joie de vivre of the Brazilian woman as nobody else does, Donata gave new energy to the magazine. We understand and respect her resignation and will be eternally grateful for all the passion and talent she has dedicated to every page she has edited,” the statement said.

Denial

Television presenter Rita Batista explained the historical context behind why so many people were upset by the photography.

Batista posted a shot from the party next to an image of two 19th-century slaves flanking their owner, with a caption explaining how in those days “the slave herself was a luxury object to be shown publicly.”

Meirelles apologized amid the outcry, writing on Instagram that “it wasn’t a theme party.”

The former Vogue Brazil style director denied using any images associated with slavery “but if it looked otherwise, I’m sorry,” she said.

The magazine also apologized in an Instagram post, where it announced the creation of a permanent forum in which activists and scholars will help define content and images against inequality.

“Vogue Brazil apologizes profusely for what happened and hopes that the discussions generated have served as a learning opportunity,” it wrote.
Revenue for its fiscal third quarter surged 282% compared to a year earlier, the company reported Thursday. Chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton attributed the lift to the company’s decision to make early, “meaningful” investments that helped it corner a big part of the Canadian market when the law took effect.
Canopy Growth also reported a wider loss from a year ago as expenses increased. It spent more on marketing, research and development.
But investors didn’t seem to mind. Canopy Growth’s (CGC) stock rose 4% Friday, and is now up nearly 80% this year.
Ex-NFL player Tiki Barber now invests in pot

The company’s strong results came a few days after rival Aurora Cannabis (ACB) also posted a surge in sales during its latest quarter. Shares of that company’s stock are up 40% for the year.
But, legal weed in Canada has introduced some new problems that these companies need to contend with. For example, pot prices have fallen.
Canopy Growth said in its earnings report that its overall average selling prices fell 12% compared to a year ago, even as prices for medical marijuana rose. Aurora said earlier this week that prices for dried cannabis and extracts each plunged more than 20%. Recreational pot is cheaper, partly because it is a much more competitive market.
Canopy Growth, though, is hoping that brand name recognition will help it stand out. Linton said the company’s healthy sales numbers show that it is “capturing consumers’ attention.”
The company generates about a third of its sales from cannabis oils and softgel capsules. It’s hoping to eventually make more money from newer consumer products, such as vape pens and beverages.
Along those lines, the company has the backing of US alcoholic beverage giant Constellation Brands (STZ). The Corona owner controls nearly 40% of Canopy Growth, a stake now worth more than $6 billion.
Canopy Growth's co-CEO Bruce Linton is optimistic about his company's chances to be the market leader in cannabis.

Canopy Growth's co-CEO Bruce Linton is optimistic about his company's chances to be the market leader in cannabis.

Canopy Growth is also planning its first foray into the United States. It wants to market hemp products, which the country legalized as part of last year’s farm bill.
Last month, Canopy Growth announced that it received a license from New York state — where Constellation Brands is based — to process and produce hemp. That would allow it to develop products that contain CBD, the non-psychoactive compound that some say helps reduce anxiety and stress.
The company intends to spend between $100 million and $150 million to help set up a so-called Hemp Industrial Park in upstate New York, an investment that Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said could create hundreds of jobs.
More big consumer companies will bet on pot this year

More big consumer companies will bet on pot this year

The enthusiasm for legal cannabis in the United States is growing. More states are legalizing recreational or medical uses of the drug. Wall Street has noticed, too: Several analysts from top brokerage firms have started to cover the companies.
Other cannabis stocks are also surging lately, fueling concerns that the sector could be a stock market bubble. Aphria (APHA), another competitor, is up 65%. And Cronos Group (CRON), which has a big investment from tobacco giant Altria (MO), has more than doubled.
It’s not an easy task. We have become so numb after two years of Trumpian politics that we tend to forget what the office can be about in the best of times.
To be sure, ranking presidents is a fool’s errand. Such lists don’t tell us much since these measures are always subjective and the rankings tend to change over time.
But it is possible to see in our history some of the key contributions that our leaders have made at turning points in their presidency.
George Washington can lead us out of our national turmoil

One contribution that presidents have made is to establish precedents and norms that define the institution over time. Most famously, Washington decided against running for re-election after his second term in an act that helped to distinguish America’s political system as one with finite terms in office. The presidency would not be another monarchy.
In a very different way, Theodore Roosevelt refashioned the presidency at the turn of the 20th century into an instrument capable of shaping national debate and playing a visible role as the top public representative of the country. In the 19th century, most presidents were more obscure figures in the public eye.
One huge exception to that was Abraham Lincoln, who confronted the total collapse of our republic during the Civil War but figured out how to undertake a military plan that crushed the Confederacy, to restore the union and to move to end the cancer at the heart of the conflict: slavery.
Lyndon B. Johnson warned us about this

Lyndon B. Johnson warned us about this

In the 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt would lead the country through a Great Depression, which left 25% of the workforce unemployed, and then a world war against totalitarianism. Not only was the United States victorious on both fronts, but in the process, Roosevelt also vastly expanded the role of government in American life. The federal government became a source of stability to the economy and provided a social safety net to most citizens.
Durable legislative achievements are also an important mark that presidents leave behind for history. While not at the same level as his predecessor, Harry Truman was notable on this front. Between 1947 and 1949 he was able to work with a Republican Congress — even as the politics of the Cold War heated up — and find legislative support for the policies that were the foundation for America’s battle against communism.
Presidents are also great when they provide moral clarity in moments of domestic turmoil. In March 1965, much of the country was shaken by the brutal violence they saw when police cracked down on peaceful civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama.
Why we can't have great presidents anymore

Why we can't have great presidents anymore

Although Lyndon Johnson had resisted moving forward with voting rights legislation in early 1965, fearing that another bill would stimulate a backlash after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson decided to take a stand. He spoke to a joint session of Congress and called on both parties to pass voting rights legislation. “We Shall Overcome,” he said, using words from the anthem of a movement much of the country still considered to be radical.
We have also seen presidential greatness when our leaders embrace a position that contradicts previously held beliefs or the majority sentiment of their own party. When opportunities for breakthroughs arise and presidents realize that older orthodoxies are wrong, they can show what the office is capable of.
Ronald Reagan, who had been the nation’s most prominent Cold War hawk, entered into negotiations over a major arms agreement with Mikhail Gorbachev starting in 1985. Even as Republicans criticized him for being duped by the Soviets, Reagan continued moving forward in a series of landmark meetings. The result was a historic arms agreement in 1987, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which began the process of ending the Cold War. (President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are now dismantling that agreement.)
Sometimes presidents can achieve greatness by what they represent. Barack Obama’s election in November 2008 was a great night for the nation despite all the opposition that he would encounter and the disappointments that some Democrats expressed once he was in office. His ability to figure out how, as an African-American, to make the case for his election in a nation still haunted by the legacy of slavery and the continued reality of racism, permanently changed the expectations of what was possible in elections.
From the moment of his victory, the arguments that some people could or could never be president in this country suffered a major blow. The long-term impact is visible in the composition of the Democratic primary field for 2020, the most diverse the nation has seen.
Yes, presidents do have the capacity to inspire, to lead in difficult times and to make the nation a better place. Without being overly nostalgic and with clear eyes about the great disappointments and hardships they have caused, we can also remember on Presidents Day weekend that it is possible for the holder of this awesome power to use it toward great ends.
On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency after signing a spending bill compromising on border security that will keep the government open. The bill doesn’t include the full amount of money he asked for for a wall. He is exercising his executive powers to declare a national emergency, sparking a national debate on his decision and continuing the fight over the border.
CNN’s poll isn’t the only one to reflect an opposition to the president’s use of a national emergency. Five other polls taken in January showed around one-third support and two-thirds opposition for executive action, including two from Quinnipiac University, one from Monmouth University, one from Fox News, and one from ABC/Washington Post. Some of these polls are conducted among registered voters, not just all American adults, but results remain relatively consistent.
Democrats are the most opposed to the national emergency, in the CNN poll, with 96% who said Trump shouldn’t declare one. Sixty-three percent of independents and 31% Republicans agreed that a national emergency is the wrong move. A division in Trump’s own base — with 3-in-10 Republicans who don’t want him to declare a national emergency over the border and 64% who do — shows that this isn’t one of his more popular ideas.
There’s a chance his party could solidify around him, as not much Trump does has impacted his approval rating in the past.
Most Americans will be happy that the government isn’t shutting down again, 57% opposed another partial government shutdown in the case that no agreement was reached.
More than half oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico (56%), according to CNN’s poll from January. That is the lowest opposition to the wall since 2016, but it has always been a majority of Americans since CNN began polling the issue. Eight-in-10 Republicans support building a wall, 39% of independents, and 8% of Democrats.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS January 30 through February 2 among a random national sample of 1,011 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.

President Trump said he’ll sign the final paper work to declare a national emergency to fund his wall as soon as he gets back to his office — and he’s already anticipating a legal challenge.

“So the order is signed. And I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office. And we will have a national emergency,” Trump said.

After he signs national emergency and executive action paperwork, Trump said, “We will then be sued,” rattling off a possible chain of events, which included bad ruling in the 9th Circuit Court, which he has previously lamented.

“We will possibly get another bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court,” Trump said, comparing the process to challenges to his administration’s travel ban.

“And then, hopefully, we’ll get a fair shake.”

What this is about: There has been speculation that Democrats or landowners on the Souther border would sue if President Trump declared a national emergency to build the wall.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said just yesterday that the Democrats could take legal action.

“I may. That’s an option,” she told reporters Thursday.

Watch the moment:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the move an “unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist,” in a joint statement and warned that “Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution.”
Other congressional Democrats are vowing action to counter the emergency declaration, which the President said he was issuing at a news conference on Friday morning, and a day after Congress approved a spending deal to avert a shutdown, but which did not include the President’s requested $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted on Friday that she and Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas “aren’t going to let the President declare a fake national emergency without a fight,” in response to a report from Bloomberg that the lawmakers have plans to unveil legislation that would halt the declaration.
Castro put out a statement on Thursday saying that if the President invokes a national emergency over the border, “I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration.”
House Democratic leaders plan to make it a top priority after recess to try to approve a resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration, but they are still trying to sort out exactly how that plays out, multiple sources involved in the discussions told CNN.
They are studying their various legislative options and multiple committees are likely to be involved, but the House Judiciary Committee might take the lead. With the House on recess next week, they have some time to discuss their options by the time they return to session.
According to federal law, Congress can rescind a presidential emergency declaration by passing a joint resolution. If the President vetoed the resolution, Congress could override a veto with a two-thirds majority in the Senate and the House.
If the House were to pass such a resolution, the Senate would be required by law to vote on the measure within 18 days.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement on Thursday that he would “fully support the enactment of a joint resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration, in accordance with the process described in the National Emergencies Act, and intend to pursue all other available legal options.”
Pelosi and Schumer argued on Friday that the President’s action is a constitutional violation, but did not specify exactly what course of action they plan to pursue.
“The President’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution. The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available,” the top two congressional Democrats said in their statement.
It has long been expected that if the President issued a national emergency over the border, the declaration would face an onslaught of legal challenges.
In a nod to that, Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas reacted to the news on Friday with a brief statement, saying, “Mr. President, we will see you in Court.”
“I had been working on this legislation with other legislators and activists and survivors for six years,” Georgia Democrat Lucy McBath told CNN’s John Berman in an interview Friday on “New Day.”
McBath’s son Jordan Davis, then 17, was shot and killed in 2012 after a loud music complaint. Jordan would have turned 24 on Saturday.
“I can recall all the times that I sat on the other side of that dais, you know, being in the audience watching amendment after amendment be shot down, so to speak,” McBath said. “It was very surreal and very bittersweet.”
Parkland survivors mark the 1-year anniversary of the shooting with 'a day of service and love'

The bill, HR 8, that McBath championed would require federal background checks for all gun purchases.
“I said I supported this bill in the name of my son but also all the other survivors and families I have worked with over the years that are depending on Congress to do right by them in keeping them safe,” she said.
When the bill was passed by the House committee on Wednesday night, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on February 14, 2018, there was clapping and tears from McBath, other Democratic lawmakers and gun control activists. McBath hugged her colleague Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat who represents the district where the Parkland shooting happened.
The House panel also passed HR 1112, a bill that would extend the background check period from three days to 10 days. The bill would require gun dealers to wait 10 days for a response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to make a gun sale. If there is no response after 10 days, the purchaser can file a petition with the attorney general. The dealer may then sell the gun if an additional 10 days go by without a response from the NICS.
Federal law, under the Brady Act, requires background checks on licensed firearm purchases. The background check system screens for certain indicators of past violence, misconduct and mental health issues. In some states, unlicensed sellers can make private sales without conducting a background check. Licensed gun dealers are allowed to transfer a gun to a buyer if after three days they don’t receive a response from the NICS.
Both background check bills will now go to the House floor for a full vote.
Even though the measures are unlikely to pass the Senate, McBath remains hopeful.
“I believe there are senators on the Republican side who know we are doing the right thing,” McBath told CNN on Friday. “People have to be aware of what the constituency expects of them. When numbers of people understand they could have a parkland at any time in their communities. I think people are beginning to stand up and say, this just makes sense. It’s common sense.”
The prosecutors asked a federal judge in Virginia to schedule a second sentencing hearing “as soon as practicable” for Trump’s former 2016 campaign chair.
They plan to file a sentencing submission Friday in this case, where Manafort was convicted by a jury for financial crimes.
“Because the DC Court has determined that Manafort intentionally lied to the government, and the breach of the agreement was conceded by the defendant and found by the DC Court, the government submits there are no outstanding issues warranting delay in proceeding to sentencing before this Court,” prosecutors wrote.
Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he 'intentionally' lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury

Manafort will likely first be sentenced by a judge in Washington for two counts where he pleaded guilty, in mid-March.
The prosecution team has notified Judge T.S. Ellis about the finding that Manafort broke his plea deal.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
The prosecutors asked a federal judge in Virginia to schedule a second sentencing hearing “as soon as practicable” for Trump’s former 2016 campaign chair.
They plan to file a sentencing submission Friday in this case, where Manafort was convicted by a jury for financial crimes.
“Because the DC Court has determined that Manafort intentionally lied to the government, and the breach of the agreement was conceded by the defendant and found by the DC Court, the government submits there are no outstanding issues warranting delay in proceeding to sentencing before this Court,” prosecutors wrote.
Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he 'intentionally' lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury

Manafort will likely first be sentenced by a judge in Washington for two counts where he pleaded guilty, in mid-March.
The prosecution team has notified Judge T.S. Ellis about the finding that Manafort broke his plea deal.
This story is breaking and will be updated.